It's an opportunity that a driver faces maybe once a lifetime. For Carl Edwards it's come twice a lifetime.
In order to understand what I am talking about you have to rewind back to the middle of the 2011 season when Edwards was yet again a free agent and rumors were swirling that Edwards was being courted hard by Joe Gibbs Racing to drive a fourth entry for the organization. Edwards was left with a decision. Stay at Roush Fenway Racing, where he had been his entire career or make the jump over to Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota and start over with a new organization.
Edwards decided to re-sign with Roush Fenway and stay with the team. Reports were that Ford and Roush paid an extensive amount of money to keep Edwards with Ford's top organization. The team was stacked with Edwards and teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. Everything was looking really good for Roush Fenway Racing.
Fast Forward to the 2014 season and here's Roush Fenway Racing in a much different state than where they were three years ago. Kenseth is gone, having moved to Joe Gibbs Racing a season after Edwards said no to the organization. Kenseth won seven races in his first year at Joe Gibbs Racing, completely throwing down his reputation as a points racer at Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth was replaced by two time defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse has really struggled in the #17 Ford in his one-plus season at Roush Fenway Racing. Stenhouse is currently 26th in points and has yet to record a win in his career.
Biffle is also in his final season of a three year contract and it sparks curiosity as to why Biffle, who like Edwards has spent his entire career at Roush Fenway Racing, has yet to resign with the organization. Biffle and Edwards, however, are not the only question marks for Roush Fenway Racing.
It was reported that Roush Fenway Racing's lead engineer Chip Bolin was released by the team last weekend after being with the organization since 1998. Not only that it is unclear as to who is calling the shots with the team. Car owner Jack Roush has seemed to not have as big of a hand with the organization as he's had in previous years. It's these things that have helped contribute to Roush Fenway Racing struggling badly the past couple of seasons.
Now the rumors have swirled that Joe Gibbs Racing has yet again began to court Edwards to drive a fourth car for the team. One reporter even tweeted a picture of Edwards meeting with what appeared to be Joe Gibbs Racing personal at Charlotte Motor Speedway over All-Star weekend. The situation is similar, yet extremely different for Edwards this time around.
Edwards will be 35 years old when the 2014 season ends, meaning there are just a few more times that a deal this attractive may come Edwards' way. If Joe Gibbs Racing has the funding to start a fourth team, they are probably not going to wait another three years for Edwards.
It may be now or never for Carl Edwards. It will be interesting to see what he does.
- Carl Edwards First Win, Huge Milestone for Roush Fenway Racing
- Carl Edwards Takes Pole for Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Carl Edwards Wins Wild Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday
- 2014 is Roush Fenway Racing’s Most Important Yet
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